Steve Irving retires after 40-year career in the NHS ambulance sector

Steve Irving

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has announced the formal retirement of its long-serving executive officer Steve Irving, following a distinguished 40-year career in the NHS ambulance sector.

Steve – or ‘Mr ALF’ as he has become affectionately known in recent years due to his direction and management of AACE’s prestigious annual Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) event – will retire fully from his role on 24 May 2024 but may still occasionally provide consultancy support to AACE.

Steve joined London Ambulance Service as a trainee on 21 May 1984, initially based in Wimbledon, London and eventually undertaking extensive front line clinical roles including secondments as both a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and motorcycle paramedic working across the capital city.

He rose to prominence as executive officer to Peter Bradley CBE, the former chief executive of London Ambulance Service and National Ambulance Advisor to the (then) Department of Health. For Steve, this led to positions in national roles for the former Ambulance Service Association (ASA), the former Ambulance Service Network (ASN) and since its inception in 2011, AACE.

Steve has undertaken a varied remit at AACE, with extensive experience of working on national strategic issues across ambulance services, government departments and alongside key stakeholders.

Aside from progressing ALF into being the key event in the annual ambulance service calendar, another of Steve’s key successes has been supporting the Joint Royal Colleges Liaison Committee (JRCALC) in the development of the JRCALC Guidelines, which have benefitted millions of patients across the UK.

Anna Parry, Managing Director of AACE, said:

During a distinguished career working in the NHS ambulance sector, Steve has made a tremendous contribution to patient care both locally across London and in his various national roles, most recently with AACE.

His personal integrity and commitment to the development of patient care and the ambulance workforce have underpinned his many successes to date, perhaps most notably progressing our prestigious annual ALF event from scratch into the exciting affair it is today. Steve has been a phenomenal team member who will be missed daily.

Thank you Steve for your service and we wish you all the very best in your retirement.

Anna Parry and Steve Irving
AACE MD Anna Parry thanks Steve for his remarkable service

Going forward, Assistant Director of AACE Helen Vine will be responsible for the production of the annual ALF event. She says:

Steve will be a hard act to follow but we are confident we now have the foundations of a great event that we will continue to invest time and resources in to develop and progress to the benefit of our delegates and sponsors.

For enquiries, please contact a member of the ALF team via